Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Goofin' Off With a Whale of a Day

This past weekend was filled with a lot of fun times with family.  You may recall we had a family wedding about a month ago.  Well, we had another wedding this past weekend with family that came in from out of town. As I mentioned in my last post, we had a family whale watching trip that we planned for last Friday.  The question of the day is...did we see any whales...oh, and how did the buckle compare?  Well, if you're dying to know, you can skip down past the project updates.

First off, I managed to completely finish the first set of blocks for the Chef Freddie's Favorites. Below is a picture of the first set of completed blocks. I love the bright colors. I am really happy with how they turned out.

First Set of Blocks Completed

I also managed to get pretty far on the putting together the sub-units for the second set of blocks. The block design is the same, it's just that the blues are a lighter shade of blue. I am more aware of how these blocks go together now, so this set of blocks should go together much more quickly.

Sub-Units for Second Set of Blocks - Sorry Camera Washed Out the Colors

Below is the latest update for Mickey and Pirate Friends cross stitch.  I got about 300 stitches in and added some more to Goofy's pirate hat.  

Mickey and Pirate Friends - As of 07/31/2017

Now more about our day of whale watching.  The day started early as we had to be down to the boat by 8:45 a.m. Our tour was running at almost full capacity.  They did have comfortable seats for everybody and our group of 7 was able to sit pretty closely together. We went through a short safety spiel and were on our way.

The naturalist on board had explained to us what to look for when spotting whales. Fortunately, I listened closely on my Alaska cruise a few years ago and knew exactly what to look for...the water spouts. You always see the water spouts first when they come to the surface. 

About 15 to 20 minutes after the left the dock, I saw a water spout and pointed it out just in time for the people around me to see the tail fluke go up into the air and under the water.  Everyone clapped. Pondering it later in the day, why is it we clap for such things? It's not like the whale was performing for us. He was just doing what comes naturally. However, we were smitten with this huge creature. 

Back of a Humpback Whale - Center of Photo

The captain, Captain Christopher the day we went, slowed the boat down to an idle as everyone scurried outside to the observation area to look around. After the whale didn't surface again for a few minutes, the naturalist saw a small pod of porpoises off the side and asked if that is what I had seen.  I said, no, I knew it was a whale and not a porpoise.  This thing was humongous. The naturalist estimated between 40 to 50 feet long.  We waited a few minutes more and then...another spout of water as the whale surfaced and we caught another shot of the tail fluke going under.

Tail Fluke of Humpback Whale

Another Picture of the Tail Fluke of Humpback Whale
We spent about 45 minutes watching as this beautiful creature would resurface every few minutes. Law requires the boat to turn its engines off if a whale gets within so many feet...and we were lucky enough at one point that we had to turn the motor off.  Yay!  We didn't get any pictures at that time because we were all so busy watching the whale. And that's where, I believe, things started to go wrong with the whale watching cruise. But more on that in a moment.

After about 45 minutes we were all herded back into the cabin of the boat as we were going to head out to where the Orca whales usually are. That's when we were served up the blueberry buckle. As I mentioned in my last post, I had been looking forward to trying the buckle because I'd had one at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival last year that was heaven sent. Would this one compare? Um, not really. It was really more of a blueberry coffee cake than a buckle. It was good but not like what I had partaken of at Epcot that has me drooling every time I think of it.  

Blueberry Buckle - Whale Watching
Berry Buckle - Epcot

About the time we finished our buckles, the captain came on the speakers and said we would be making an out-of-the-way detour because there was a medical emergency. When the boat had turned off the motor for the whale, the boat had done quite a bit of rocking and bobbing. Apparently, this did not sit well for one of the passengers who appeared to get very seasick very quickly.  We headed in towards Deception Pass and waited for the passenger and her group to disembark and get picked up by an ambulance. This took us way off course and took up a large chunk of time, so there wasn't enough time left to get out to the Orca whales that day. 

Overall, I'd give the trip a four out of five stars. The boat was clean and comfortable. The viewing platforms were tiered so everyone had no problem seeing the whale...even from the back of the platform (which is important since I am only 5'1" on a good day). The blueberry buckle was really blueberry coffee cake and not a buckle but still moist and good. 

The tour company guarantees you see a whale or you get another excursion free. We did see our whale, so we didn't expect to get a free tour.  However, since a good part of the trip was spent taking a detour for a medical emergency, it would have been nice if they had offered at least a $20 discount toward a future excursion.  We did miss out on potentially seeing more whales because of the detour. 

And that, my friends, is my whale of a tale today. It also has me thinking, if you could see any type of wildlife in its natural habitat, what YOU like to see? I guess I still have Orca whales on my bucket list, what's on yours?

30 comments:

  1. Nice progress. Looks like you still had fun.

    Linda

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    1. Thank you, Linda. We had a great time...especially since we were able to share it with family. Thank you for dropping by! --Andrea

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  2. Oh I love whale watching. I personally think they can hear our human amazement and smile thinking you idiots I'm just doing what I do haha. We went up to Washington and went out to see Orcas several times. We saw humpbacks and several other beautiful things but no orcas. Then I decided to take a day on my own and go kayaking and the family went out to see Orcas again. Yep guess what. The day I didn't go they found them. Never fails. I love watching dolphins in the natural habitats though. They amaze me. But going back to the see the orcas is on my bucket list.

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    1. Katie, The Orcas had been spotted around a lot the past few weeks, so probably wouldn't have been too difficult to find. We just didn't get far enough out to where they've been. Next time, though. I love living in Washington this time of year. It's just spectacular with the mountains and ocean so close by. Thanks for dropping by! --Andrea

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  3. I am really enjoying how your quilt is coming together. I so look forward to seeing more!!

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    1. Thanks, Beckie! Those little frogs remind me of a cross between Kermit the Frog and the Swedish Chef. Gotta love those Muppets. Thanks for dropping by! --Andrea

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  4. Wow Andrea ,how awesome to be whale watching,looks like lots of fun, whale watching has started in our state as well but i havent had the chance to go and see,thankyou for sharing xx

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    1. We had a fantastic time. I highly recommend taking a whale watching tour if you ever get the chance. Being so close to these giants was breathtaking. Thanks for dropping by! --Andrea

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  5. Those blocks are looking good and Goofy is definitely starting to materialise under his pirate hat there! What great photos of that mighty whale, it must have been amazing to be so close!!! I agree it was a shame the company didn't compensate you for the wasted time, that seems a bit off given their policy for if you don't see a whale... Have a lovely week!
    Helen

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    1. Thank you, Helen! It was really breathtaking when the whale got closer. We were all mesmerized. Thanks for the comments on the projects. They are coming along nicely. Have a great day! --Andrea

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  6. Great first block and go Goofy!
    What a great tour you went on, sorry it was cut short. I loved seeing black bears in Alaska, but only saw a couple whale tails.
    Berry anything, yum!

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    1. I would have loved to see black bears when we went to Alaska. We actually didn't see much more wildlife than we would normally around home...eagles, seals, etc. We did, however, find a great fabric store in Skagway. I agree, too, berry anything is yummy! Thanks for dropping by! --Andrea

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  7. Oh my , a whale watching tour. I'd really like to do that one day. These orca whales are fantastic.
    And I'd love to see a grizzly bear in the Rocky Mountains, from a distance of course, lol.

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    1. Brigitte, You're the second person to mention bears today. I have never seen a bear in the while...zoo, yes...wild, no. LOL The whale watching tour was fantastic, and I would highly recommend it. Thanks for dropping by! --Andrea

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  8. Sorry the buckle didn't live up to its expectations. The trip sounded like fun anyway. I love seeing all wildlife. Guess that is why I watch all of those great NatGeo shows.

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    1. The berry buckle not being quite as hoped wasn't actually too disappointing. It was much more important that we were having such a good time as a family. I enjoy watching nature shows on TV, too. Have a great day! --Andrea

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  9. The square looks great Andrea! Good progress on Mickey too. The whale watching looks like fun, glad you guys had a great time. Sorry about the buckle.

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    1. Thanks, Faith! The whale watching was so much fun and made up for the berry buckle. Have a great day! Andrea

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  10. Awesome blog, i always enjoy & read the post you are sharing!
    Thank for your very good article...!

    ตารางคะแนน

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    1. Thank you for dropping by! Have a great day! Andrea

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  11. Great progress on Goofy!! It is coming along nicely!

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  12. Love your block! Those colors really look great together. Great progress on your stitching too! Love the pictures of the whale, and I'm glad you had a relatively good tour! Thanks so much for linking up with To-Do Tuesday this week!

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    1. Thanks for dropping by, Christine! My pleasure to link up. Link parties are my favorite way to see what people are working on and find new blogs. I am loving the blocks and am almost ready to start assembling the center. Have a great day! Andrea

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  13. I often find that "real world" food doesn't come close to Disney food but I still compare it ALL the time!

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    1. Keiley, Yes, there is definitely something magical about food at Disney. They've added some incredible places to eat the past few years with Disney Springs and the different Epcot festival kiosks. I could live there...really, I could if I had more money. Have a magical day! Andrea

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  14. That is quite some tail! I'd love to go whale watching but I'd be the one they'd make the detour for, even after taking meds. Ugh - so un-fun. Thanks for sharing your block and your trip this week!

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    1. Susan, Thank you! I do tend to get a little seasick, so I knew to take the meds hours before the boat left the dock. It was a fun experience. Have a great weekend! Andrea

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  15. What a fun day you had. I especially liked the idea of food that you didn't have to organize and cook yourself! Your block is cute. And, honestly, I hear you on a fabric lasting for years and going into all sorts of quilts. I still have little scraps of an apple print that I've used for 20 years. I even have a friend who recognizes and teases me about it.

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    1. Bonnie, Thanks for stopping by. It is funny how those scrap pieces get smaller and smaller but never seem to fully disappear at times. Have a great week! Andrea

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